Human beings are social in nature, we thrive off the togetherness of social iterations, yet we have been slowly moving towards a more individualistic and digitally remote way of life, living in a somewhat global village where our human contact is diminishing right before our eyes. Our attention is given to notifications, emotions and thoughts ‘shared’ online and video conferencing is replacing ‘old fashioned’ meetings.
We define ourselves through technology, “I share, therefore I am” - Sherry Turkle. We have control over how we present ourselves and to a degree, we customise our lives; we get to ‘edit’ and we get to ‘delete’, using technology to clean up the mess of real conversation.
Our constant online connection is reshaping our way of being, slowly expecting more from technology and less from others; increasingly isolating ourselves. Has this pandemic created the lack of connectivity and togetherness or have we done it to ourselves?
In order for us to feel a sense of connection, we need to first cultivate the capacity for solitude. Solitude is where we get to know ourselves, where we find and understand ourselves; what drives us, what inspires us, what excites us. It gives us a platform to form our sense of self-worth, instead of turning to others as spare parts to build it from the outside in. Being alone or in solitude should not be viewed as a problem but as a gift. It gives us space and time to tune in to our surroundings, free from distraction.
“Embrace this time alone, you are not alone in being alone.”
Let’s explore dividualism and reciprocal determinism. Two theories that suggest we are interconnected, in a rhythmic dance with the people and environment we surround ourselves with i.e. not completely separate or energetically ‘individual’.
In some highly-connected cultures, there is an underlying notion of dividualism, where we view people as connected, we embrace interdependence and value each person, not as an individual, but for their relationship with the world around them; how they co-exist and rebound off their surroundings. The concept of bidirectional influence.
We need to reconsidered how we view and use this time. We need to develop our self-awareness, be honest with ourselves and notice our environment. We may not be physically connected but, energetically, we are. We are vibrating bodies living in a sea of energy, every part of which is vibrating. Even those things which seem to be still are vibrating. All the actions of our lives are controlled in their speed, rhythm, timing, and quality by the surrounding vibrational influences of our environment. Once we get our heads around this and that our every action carries an energetic quality, we begin to understand that we are all connected, always. And In order for us to feel this connectivity or togetherness, we need to take responsibility for the quality of energy we emanate; consciously working together to create a wake of harmony between us.
Humanity is ever evolving and progressive. We find ourselves in a time where progression has been paused, leaving us with fear driven emotions and in a perpetual state of anxiety. We need to be reminded that everything which exists comes in to being on the basis of material course and that we do not live independent of it, rather hold a relationship with it; reciprocal determinism.
To increase our familiarity with reciprocal determinism, it is a model built on three pillars that influence behaviour, those being the environment, the individual and the behaviour itself. These components make up a reciprocal relationship where our environment influences our behaviour and our actions also play a part in influencing our environment. We need to conceptualise this when understanding this unexpected deviation from the norm and welcome the change. How we perceive this change governs our emotions towards it and, in turn, how we respond to it.
Change EXPLORED Change is gradual and continuous, change is sequential, change is inevitable and natural. Change lays a foundation for growth, physically, emotionally and spiritually. This period of change we find ourselves in is carving out time for us to grow, to evolve. This concept is not only applied to us as individuals but as ‘dividuals’, and all that we interact with - art, music, nature, science, literature, economics and politics. We are slowly changing, together, evolving as a whole.
The notion of impermanence weaves through the fabric of our everyday lives; something that is will soon no longer be. Nothing is permanent.
Undoubtably, our equilibrium has been disrupted, we are in unfamiliar territory with oscillating emotions, a by-product of this harrowing pandemic, that may seem irrational, repetitive and cyclical. We seek stability during this time of uncertainty and to attain this, we must not resist but adapt, finding our new ‘moving equilibrium’.
This disruption not only affects us on a mental level but it also manifests in our bodies on a physical level as pain, a racing heart, shaking or hot sweats. To evade these unsettling feelings, we need to come in to the present, reining in our wandering minds. We need to find balance in our thoughts and let go of what we cannot control. We need to focus on the positives and find happiness in the small things. We may be alone at home but we can find comfort in knowing that as a whole, we are all in this together. Isolated – together.
How to connect to self:
Connect to NATURE:
When was the last time you immersed yourself in nature and felt the presence of natural minerals?
Give yourself permission to stop this weekend. Protect yourself from the electric shock of stress by practicing grounding. Take off your shoes and socks, get outside and allow your ‘fault current’ to flow to earth. Whether it’s grass, stone, sand, or dirt, find a connection. You can stand in one place, walk, or lay down and like you do when forming any electrical circuit, you need two points of contact. Maintain this connection for around 20 minutes.
If you can practice this daily, you will begin to experience more harmony within the body, finding balance in your physical, emotional, mental and energy states.
We can become so absorbed in our thoughts and our subsequent reactions to them that we don’t observe what is actually happening. We spend an enormous amount of time anticipating or dreading the future or dwelling in the past that we do not pay attention to what we actually experiencing in the here and now.
Take a minute to notice your surroundings and take a mental note of:
- Your breath. Breathing in and breathing out.
- Bring your concentration to the present
- What can you see?
- What can you smell?
- What can you hear?
- What can you feel?
Mindfulness arises when you allow your attention to fall effortlessly.
Emotion is the essence of movement. Emotion drives the way we hold our body; anxiousness causes us to tense, sadness or grief causes us to hunch over and drop our head, happiness and confidence makes us stand tall and ooze energy. Emotion influences form.
Movement is emotion in motion. When we move or dance, we express our emotions, physically communicating and allowing those emotions to move through our body, out of our body and, in doing so, to move others.
Allow yourself to be guided gently and slowly by your body's natural rhythm. Move in ways that feel good. Move with pleasure rather than force. Let your body have a say in the process, listen to its story.